Not A Stick for the first time Culturebaby immediately related to it and loved it. By the third reading she was completing every line. A little pig is consistently told to be careful with that stick, look where he is going with that stick, don't trip on that stick, be careful where you point that stick, and each time he insists it is NOT a stick. With beautiful illustrations, we the readers are invited to glimpse what is really going on in his imagination. Indeed the stick is not as it seems. Pig is leading a band, lifting weights. He is Van Gogh, Lancelot, Buffalo Bill... He's the tamer of dragons, the hunter of sharks. This book is a wonderful accompaniment to Julia Donaldson's Stick Man, another current favourite. Taken from his wife and children as he goes for a jog, Stick Man is of course not a stick at all, but why can nobody see it? He isn't a boomerang, an arm, a sword, a Pooh stick; he doesn't want to be chased by dogs or form part of a nest, and he certainly isn't firewood! Will he ever make it home to the family tree?
Not a Stick, and a very simple activity we'll be trying in the next few days will be to collect sticks from nature and use them as the basis for creating our own pictures.
One of Culturebaby's Montessori trays this week has also been particularly appropriate. I dug out a vintage set of Construct-o-Straws from my mother's toy hoarde and it is proving to be rather a winner. As well as providing great practice for fine motor skills, this set has been transformed into crowns, houses and simply used as wands. You can easily create a similar activity with straws and playdoh or even try pipecleaners and a collender.
As a mother of girls, I found that this brilliant little advert really affected me: